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Tamarack Ciel de Cheval Vineyard Reserve 2012

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Arietta Hudson Vineyards Merlot 2012

Produced from the oldest planting of grapes on Lee Hudson’s heralded vineyard in the Napa Carneros, this latest offering of Arietta Merlot is one for the ages. Certainly a classic vintage, 2012 delivered fruit with brilliant purity, structure, and a strong sense of place. This unique—one might say historic—block of Merlot shows the best that this variety has to offer in California. Well-proportioned, fresh, flavorful, dark and complex, this wine is sure to impress lovers of Pomerol, and show that California is capable of producing Merlot wines with strength, yes, but also nuance, delicacy, and multiple layers of interest. This wine should continue to open and develop over the next decade, and age gracefully for another decade or two.


Review:

Arietta's 2012 Merlot emerges from the oldest vines on Lee Hudson's vineyard in Carneros. A dark, super-expressive wine, the Merlot is endowed with serious depth, power and structure. Brambly red fruit, smoke, tobacco and grilled herbs emerge from a surprisingly big, structured wine that should drink well for many, many years. -Antonio Galloni Vinous 95 points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 95
Gamba Estate Old Vines Zinfandel 2012

The original and flagship wine for GAMBA Vineyards and Winery from our family Estate Vineyard in the Russian River Valley planted in 1900.

Tasting Notes: Deep garnet in color with a cherry preserve nose, highlighted by red plum and dried cranberry, this wine promises a classic expression of Zinfandel on the palate. Beginning with an appealing mix of spicy berry aromas and flavors, the wine expands into medium to full bodied ripe briary fruit of plum, black cherry, earth minerals, and white pepper.

The texture is silky smooth, with elegant tannins, integrated with a subtle brown spice. The long cherry kirsch-filled finish is punctuated by firm but gentle tannins. With ample acidity, the balanced framework, effusive fruit, and a smooth lingering finish, this wine will drink wonderfully for several years to come.

Gamba Old Vines Zinfandel Starr Road 2012
A terrific Old Vine Zinfandel from a single vineyard and an epic vintage!
 
Wine Description:  The Gamba Old Vine 2012 Starr Road Ranch Zinfandel reveals an inviting dark ruby-purple hue in the glass. A fascinating nose weaves aromas of blackberry bramble and cherry vanilla with essences of cider spice and nutmeg. On the palate, the intense layers of juicy dark fruits such as a black cherry, velvety blackberry and flinty plum flavors offer a richness that fills the mouth with essence of roasted fig, and pleasingly lingers on the palate. The fruit is framed by an appealing lift of acidity and complimented by freshly toasted cocoa, caramel and spicy, mild tobacco leaf. Finally, the wine is accented by soft tannins and lead to a long, balanced finish that invites the next taste experience.
 
Vineyard Information: The Gamba Starr Road Ranch Vineyard
Planted in the Russian River Valley on a gently rolling hillside in 1920, the Starr Road Ranch Vineyard, formerly known as the Moratto Vineyard, is organically farmed, consistently producing low yields of the highest quality fruit year after year. We are excited to continue our work with this legendary vineyard site, and share the resulting wines with you. 
Product Description

Dark and chocolatey, spiced with pretty notes of allspice and clove, this wine is round and rich, bursting with ripe berries, combined with an earthy complexity and a velvety finish.

Made from 42% Cabernet Sauvignon,  29% Merlot,  29% Cabernet Franc 

The wine spent 22 months on 75% new French oak with the remaining 25% second vintage French oak. Select barrels from the best forests of Taransaud, Boutes, Quintessance, and Vicard cooperages.


Review:

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Cabernet Franc (30%) and Merlot, this wine seems a little green out of the gate, with aromas of herbs, cocoa, vanilla, black licorice, woodspice and black fruit. The fruit flavors display the warmth of this region, with the tannins providing some heft, stretching out over time. - Wine Enthusiast 91 Points 

 

Winery: Tamarack Cellars

The Tamarack Cellars Estate
Founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, Tamarack Cellars is dedicated to the production of small lot, hand-crafted wines from select vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain and Columbia Valley appellations. 

“Boutique winery from Waterbrook and Canoe Ridge alumnus Ron Coleman delivers ripe varietals and blends; Syrah-Bordeaux blend Firehouse Red is outstanding value.”
- Anthony Dias' blue pocket guide to wine 2006

The Tamarack Cellars Vineyard
Grapes are purchased throughout the Columbia Valley and are crushed, fermented and blended in a small winery located in a World War II firehouse complex at the Walla Walla airport.

 

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Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Marcassin Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay. 


The 2013 Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard may be even better. Notes of caramelized citrus, hazelnut, apple blossom, lemon oil and orange marmalade are all present in this wine of dazzling aromatic and flavor dimension. It is full-bodied, again shows some wet pebbles (which I equate with minerality), vibrant acidity, and no real evidence of any oak. Much like the 2012, the finish goes on for 45+ seconds. This is another killer Chardonnay from Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. -Wine Advocate 100 Points

What an extraordinary tasting this was at the Marcassin winery just north of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County. Just when you think the duo of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer can’t make greater wines, they bowl over the taster with an array of exquisite quality that really must be tasted to be believed. Marcassin was probably California’s greatest Chardonnay after the famous Chalone winery fell from the pinnacle and onto hard times in the 1980s (and it has yet to rebound). Moreover, Marcassin set the bar for great Pinot Noir as well. And while both their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have many competitors these days (from the likes of Harford Court, Mark Aubert, Kistler, Kongsgaard, DuMol, Thomas Brown, Peter Michael, Martinelli and Luc Morlet, to name a few), John Wetlaufer and Helen Turley remain the reigning geniuses of these two varietals in California. Certainly, their meticulous attention to detail in both the vineyard and in the winemaking and élevage account for the quality, but they were among the pioneers who saw the unlimited potential from the Sonoma Coast, now a relatively crowded neighborhood. This was a remarkable tasting that simply blew me away, and I have been following their wines since the first Marcassins were made in the early 1990s. By the way, any doubts about aging potential should be crushed immediately, as even in the most challenging vintages in California, Marcassin Chardonnays and Pinots have aged as well as, if not better than just about any grand cru white Burgundy. For example, 1995 and 1996 Chardonnays, particularly those from the Lorenzo Vineyard, are incredibly youthful and dynamic, and the Marcassin Estate Pinot Noir, even from vintages such as 1998, is simply amazing. The three Chardonnays tasted include two perfect wines. Perhaps the closest comparison is not to anything made in California, but a Corton-Charlemagne in a top vintage from the famous Jean François Coche-Dury.



 Wine Advocate: 100